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Chrysler sales on the rise

Chrysler is also about to light a showroom afterburner with the long-overdue return of its flagship 300C.

The American brand is claiming a record result for the 12 months to the end of May, thanks to the best Jeep performance since the 1990s.

Chrysler is also about to light a showroom afterburner with the long-overdue return of its flagship 300C - which has been missing from the lineup for more than a year - and the addition of new SRT8 performance versions of the C-car and Grand Cherokee.

The bottom-line number from June 2011 to May 2012 is 15,528 vehicles, a 30 per cent increase over the same period a year earlier. “We are delighted with the group’s sales to date, which show a very strong, consistent rate of growth,” says Clyde Campbell, managing director of the Fiat Chrysler Group.

He is one of the keys to the change, taking over the reigns just as Chrysler Jeep Australia was rolled into the global Fiat Chrysler Group and driving everything from a wider model lineup to the shift to a new inner-city corporate headquarters in Melbourne.

There is sill a lot of change to come, with doubts over the local future of the Dodge nameplate and a massive expansion of the Fiat family with backing from Europe, but Campbell is optimistic. "The rest of the year looks to be an absolute stand out for the Chrysler and Jeep brands," he says.

Reviewing the results for the past year, Campbell says Chrysler Jeep deliveries of 11,931 vehicles in the 2011 calendar year was the best bottom line since 1994 - when the brand was still in the hands of a private importer, Astre Automotive.

The arrival of the all-new Grand Cherokee, which is finally a Carsguide recommended vehicle thanks to a new approach to quality and comfort, powered it to the top of the Jeep chart with 5590 deliveries. But Campbell says the introduction of two-wheel drive versions of the Jeep Compass and Cherokee also made a significant contribution to the local growth.